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Arista Transcoder
Python Shell
Branch: master

Arista Transcoder 0.9.8

A simple preset-based transcoder for the GNOME Desktop and a small script for terminal-based transcoding. Settings are chosen based on output device and quality preset.


  • Presets for Android, iPod, computer, DVD player, PSP, and more
  • Live preview to see encoded quality
  • Automatically discover available DVD drives and media
  • Rip straight from DVD media easily
  • Automatically discover and record from Video4Linux devices
  • Support for H.264, WebM, FLV, Ogg, DivX and more
  • Batch processing of entire directories easily
  • Simple terminal client for scripting
  • Nautilus extension for right-click file conversion


  • python >=2.4
  • python-cairo
  • python-gobject
  • python-gtk >=2.16
  • python-gconf
  • python-gstreamer
  • python-gudev or python-dbus with HAL
  • python-nautilus (if using Nautilus extension)
  • python-pynotify (optional)
  • python-rsvg (if using KDE)
  • python-simplejson (if using python 2.5 or older)
  • gstreamer-ffmpeg
  • gstreamer-plugins-base
  • gstreamer-plugins-good
  • gstreamer-plugins-bad
  • gstreamer-plugins-ugly
  • python-webkit (for in-app documentation)
  • lsdvd (to read DVD title information)

Debian users may need to install these additional dependencies:

  • gstreamer0.10-lame
  • gstreamer0.10-plugins-really-bad

Fedora users first need to enable RPM Fusion repo because they won't have dependencies for Arista ( Then install these additional dependencies:

  • gnome-python2-rsvg
  • nautilus-python (if using Nautilus extension)
  • gstreamer-plugins-bad-nonfree


Installation uses python distutils. After extracting the archive, run:

python install

If you are using Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty) or later, make sure to install with:

python install --install-layout=deb

Don't forget to use sudo if necessary. This will install the arista python module to your python site-packages or dist-packages path, install the arista programs into sys.prefix/bin, instal the nautilus extensions into sys.prefix/lib/nautilus/extensions-2.0/python and install all data files into sys.prefix/share/arista.

You can also choose to install the Nautilus extension per-user by placing it into the user's home directory under ~/.nautilus/python-extensions. Note that you must restart Nautilus for such changes to take effect!


There are two clients available, a graphical client using GTK+ and a terminal client. The graphical client is failry self-explanatory and can be launched with:


To use the terminal client please see:

arista-transcode --help

An example of using the terminal client:

arista-transcode --device=apple --preset="iPhone / iPod Touch" test.avi

Other useful terminal options:

arista-transcode --info
arista-transcode --info apple iPad

There is also a Nautilus extension installed by default. You can right-click on any media file and select "Convert for device..." in the menu. This menu contains all your installed presets and will launch Arista to convert the selected file or files.

Generating a Test File

Sometimes it may be useful to generate a test file:

gst-launch-0.10 videotestsrc num-buffers=500 ! x264enc ! qtmux ! filesink location=test.mp4

Trying the Latest Version

You can try out the latest development version of Arista by grabbing and running the code from git. This lets you test issues you may have against the latest work of the developers as well as try out new features. Try running the following in a terminal:

git clone git://
cd arista


All active development has moved to Code is managed through git and new bugs should be opened in the GitHub tracker. Translations are still managed on Launchpad using a bazaar tracking branch of this git repository. The GitHub page is here:

You can grab a copy of the source code for Arista via:

git clone git://

Feel free to fork on GitHub and propose updates to the main branch. You can keep your branch up to date via git pull

The public website of this project is also open source, and can be found here:

Feel free to fork it and contribute as well.

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